F-1 Students

Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C.’s Dallas, Frisco, and North Texas attorneys provide personalized, proactive and responsive service to students who are navigating the pre-completion practical training (CPT), post-completion practical training (OPT), and the STEM extension processes. In addition, we provide strategic immigration planning necessary for a student to feel comfortable with a comprehensive solution and plan for longer-term temporary employment in the U.S. We seek the smoothest path for students, and provide cost-effective service that respects their personal finances. Similarly, we represent employers of all sizes in H-1B nonimmigrant visa petition proceedings on behalf of these talented and highly motivated F-1 students, applying our decades of experience in H-1B case preparation and processing to ensure an efficient business client experience which is respectful of employer staff time and the corporate bottom line. We warmly welcome F-1 students and their prospective employers to contact us regarding U.S. immigration law benefits in specific circumstances.

Foreign-born students come to the U.S. fueled by courage, internal strength, a high level of motivation, and personal dreams. The majority of foreign-born academic students seeking to study in the U.S. are admitted to the U.S. in F-1 nonimmigrant status. The law states that an F-1 academic student is a person having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning, and who is a bona fide student qualified to pursue a full course of study and who seeks to enter the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of pursuing such a course of study at a college, university, seminary, or similar academic institution. Study at an accredited language training program in the United States is also permitted. F-1 students must have sufficient financial support to cover the period of study and must intend to depart from the U.S. at the end of the period of study.

Occasionally, students fail to maintain F-1 status and need assistance and advice with respect to applications for reinstatement of such status. Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. has represented students in reinstatement proceedings, analyzing eligibility and preparing comprehensive applications to give students the best chance of having F-1 status reinstated.

Some F-1 students are eligible for practical training that is related to their course of study. Whether Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT), the requirements are highly specific and students must pay careful attention to compliance with all terms and conditions. In addition, some F-1 students are eligible for a 17-month extension of OPT if they were enrolled in certain Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) degree programs. These students must have received an initial grant of OPT related to a STEM degree, and must work for employers enrolled in E-Verify.

At some point during their studies in the U.S., it is not uncommon for F-1 students to develop an interest in working in the U.S. for a longer temporary period of time in order to gain additional work experience in their chosen profession. Many students consider the possibility of assuming H-1B nonimmigrant status which provides temporary, employer-specific work authorization that is tied to a specialty occupation professional position which requires a bachelor’s or higher level college degree. The 17-month OPT extension period for STEM degree holders gives strategic time advantage to the both the student seeking H-1B authorized employment and to the U.S. employer hoping to secure longer-term service of the student pursuant to H-1B status.